chapter  3
21 Pages

The South African State in Transition: A Question of Form, Function and Fragmentation

WithSophie Oldfield

Debates on globalisation, decentralisation, fiscal austerity and governance also reverberate in the South African policy arena. South Africa’s macroeconomic stability is prioritised at the expense of the state’s capacity for domestic redistribution and service delivery - those same rights provided for in the Constitution. Six years into democratic rule, the post-apartheid South African state continues to face challenges of exceptional magnitude: the transformation of the polity, society and economy to redress geographies of inequality, and policy reformulation to give effect to national projects that will make transformation a reality. The construction of South African governance can be read, then, as the negotiation of the tension between local and provincial rights and national intervention. English and Afrikaner capital found it in their interests that the post-apartheid government, or at least a powerful part of the government’s constituency, was embedded in networks of South African capital.